Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why We Shouldn't Mess with Ir*n (or Cuba either)

With the recent unrest after the presidential election in Iran making news in the US, I thought a comment in order.

We American Christians have an odd approach to government participation. Compared to most of the rest of our Christian brothers and sisters alive today, WE think (or I feel) we should engage and argue and even boycott governments for the sake of the gospel. We think activism is good. Political liberty = spiritual liberty.

Christians in Ir*n and Cuba that I have met approach things differently. (I guess the same is true in China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other nations, though I've never spoken to believers there personally.) They tell me "Inactivism" is better. Political oppression = spiritual liberty.

The Holy Spirit uses the persecution and pressure against the Church to spread the gospel to thousands, even millions AND proves to the people the inadequacy of inferior types of political governance. It's not dissimilar to the Ancient Near East in the biblical era.

So I say, Do NOT write our government to try to muster support from the USA for change in these nations. If you work in our US government, work for justice and freedom. But the rest of us (me) should not meddle in the affairs of the King of kings except in prayer.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to convert and disciple SO MANY people in these persecuted nations that political change happens from within - as a result of the hand of the LORD at work.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Marxism - A Prickly Difficult Word

The following exchange was posted on my old friend Mike S's wall on Facebook. I know its startling that a thread is worth blogging. At least I think it is anyway.

Mike posted this thought:
Mike is confused about the current love fest for Marxism and the misbelief that it is a compassionate approach to poverty. Everywhere I have been it has left a sad record of universal poverty (except for the politicians), a lack of initiative and personal responsibility, and corruption. Productivity is not criminal behavior.

To which a friend also named Michael asked, 'How many Marxists do you know?'

Mike responses are good and prickly and wise.

"Back in the olden days we senior citizens (I think Mike is 55?) had to take classes on Marxism, Capitalism and Socialism, etc. I have been to the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan (a Soviet satellite, Ethiopia (communist until '91) and have heard people speak who are involved in trying to rebuild their cultures in Eastern Europe in the aftermath of Marxism.

"I have spoken to people who witnessed the overthrow of the Afghan government in '73. The students there were saying many of the same things that spring from Marxist ideology and sound frightening similar to presuppositions blindly accepted as true in post-modern American culture.

"Labels [like Marxist] are not popular today, making it easy to propose ideas without anyone evaluating the source or the people who said the exact same things in the past and the fruit of what they said.

"I am deeply concerned about the way emotions are being played to lead people to conclusions that are Marxist--without themselves knowing what it is they are adhering to.

"I didn't answer your question Michael. I can't say that I know any Marxists personally, but I do have a limited understanding of Marxist ideas (as far as my IQ will take it). When I hear those ideas proposed by politicians, newscasters, theologians, and "20 something's" in the church, they would not accept the label--but if they walk like a duck, sound like a duck . . ."

Another comment by David mentions that 'pure Marxism' is like 'true Christianity'.

Mike replies spot on. "David, I'm afraid I can't follow either of your assessments. Pure Marxism is an oxymoron in the truest sense. There is nothing pure about an ideology built on a structure of lies. Just a few off the top of my head:

"1. Atheism. "The fool has said in his heart there is no God." Since it is a philosophy life dependent on the non-existence of God, it s... Read More nothing more than the ideas of a fool.

"2. No absolutes--"the end justifies the means." The is Marxism at its purest, and explains the corruption that permeates every Marxist system. The Law of God is written on all our hearts, there is absolute right and wrong. To believe otherwise is to believe a lie.

"3. Peace--absence of resistance to socialism. This explains why all Marxist governments outlaw freedom of speech, and only tolerate "correct" speech.

"4. Redistribution of wealth. This idea was tried by the early settlers of North America. They nearly starved to death trying "communalism." Forced redistribution of wealth punishes responsibility.

"David, I have seen pure Christianity--it is everywhere. People who admit their guilt before a holy God, and trust in Jesus alone as the one who took God's wrath for our guilt upon Himself and valuing Him above anyone or anything else cleanses the heart and begins a life-long process of transformation.

"This transformation reveals itself in an individual as he/she loves God and loves others and grows in that ability. Religious institutions come and go, but Jesus who is alive continues to call people to Himself in loving relationship--I have met thousands on that journey. It is a narrow door--so it is no surprise that few find it. If you look carefully, pure Christianity is alive and well."

Well said Mike S. I'm glad God put you in my life in 1977 (when I was 11 and Mike was 22) for all those out there trying to guess how old is 'old'

What do you think? Is Marxism real? Is Mike S a crazy old man?

Are you a Marxist and don't know it?